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How to check the storage on your smartphone or laptop

26/05/2022 - How tos

We look into how you can check the storage on Android phones, Apple iPhones, Windows laptops and Macs.

The majority of smartphones come with plenty of storage and have at least 64GB of space, with some of the latest models now starting with 128GB, and even going up as high as 1TB.

Your operating system and apps occupy most of the storage on your device. , The average person has 40 apps on his/her phone – that’s despite using less than half of them.

With zillions of apps available on Google Playstore or the App Store, phones need to have the space to store a large number of them and their data. That’s not forgetting the space required to store your media files like photos, videos, music, podcasts, e-books and audio recordings.

What’s the difference between “memory” and “storage”?

Don’t confuse ‘memory’ with ‘storage’.

Both laptops and smartphones use these terms to describe capacity. Memory and storage are like colleagues working in the same department, but they are actually responsible for different jobs.

They both share the quality of storing data in one place. The main difference is the way each one processes and uses data.

Here’s what to remember:

Although not exactly the same, memory/RAM and storage are interconnected. Storage takes care of the space you have available for any files. The RAM processes your activity at a certain speed when using those files. Whenever you run a program/app, open a webpage, or watch a video, the RAM should work to keep loading times low.

If your phone or laptop has a small RAM memory that drags, there’s not much you can do to make it significantly faster.

As previously mentioned, RAM stores all the User Data, Cache Data, and App Data. The less apps you have, the less data your RAM will have to store to keep them running, and running fast.

If your phone/laptop is running low on RAM memory, you can declutter it to free up some of it. Anything you deem useless, redundant, or unnecessary, get rid of it. If you are too attached to your ‘selfies’ album, back it up on the cloud and delete. This would also help to speed up your gadget as there’d be less file data for the RAM to run through.

How to check the storage on your Android

Some versions might have differing processes. The general one is the following:

1)Tap Settings (app with gear icon).

2) Tap Storage (if you can’t see it on the list and scrolling isn’t your thing, type storage in the search bar. It should then appear).

The total capacity should show in “Total Space”. If you have an SD card inserted, it should show as well.

How to check the storage on your iPhone

Some versions might have differing processes. The general one is the following:

1) Click the Settings app

2) Go to "General"

3) Tap "iPhone storage" to view the breakdown.

How to check the storage of your laptop (Windows 10)

Press the Windows key and then go to Settings > System > Storage.

You can see how much storage each drive or category has available. You can also click on the ones which you’d like to view in more detail.

How to check the storage of your Mac

1) Go to System Preferences. Or even simpler, click the Apple menu in the upper left corner (that classic bitten Apple icon).

2) From the drop list click “About this Mac”.

3) Click “Storage”.

4) Click “Manage” to see the breakdown.

How much phone memory and storage do I need?

You'll need to consider storage size when getting a new phone, particularly if:

How much laptop memory and storage do I need?

For laptops, RAM and storage size generally plays a bigger role. Most laptops offer larger capacities as they are built to perform more tasks and more rigorously.

You’d actually need the extra space if you are using programs like Photoshop and Final Cut, and you’ll want a good RAM memory to run them, with a good storage size for saving your projects. Equally, if you are a software builder, the last thing you’d want is a computer that takes its time and has no space.

Hackers are always out fishing for victims. No matter the storage size of your laptop, it’s always a good idea to back your data up. This is also to protect your computer from any cyber-attacks. If you prefer keeping valuable data on your laptop, encrypt it.

What is a microSD?

MicroSDs are expandable memory cards. They were popular with old school phones which used to have limited storage. Usually, this was within the 8GB, 16GB range. Think of microSDs like a basic USB.

If your phone doesn’t have enough storage, you can increase it by inserting a microSD. Not all phones have a memory card slot however. iPhones for example, don’t. Most manufacturers tend to be generous with the storage they offer these days. So hopefully you won’t need to pay extra for more GBs of space.

Checking your storage might be a boring job but it’s necessary every now and then. Any memory hogging data needs to go!

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